I sometimes hear people discuss whether they are extroverts or introverts, but according to motivation research by Ph.D. Steven Reiss, most of us have some extroversion and some introversion, but to a different extent. He calls introversion-extroversion Social Contact, which is one of our 16 motives.
A colleague with a low need for Social Contact usually prefers to work alone most of the time. The person might not come to AW as he/she might just need to have some time alone. There is sometimes a misconception that introverts don’t want to interact with other people. An example of a total introvert would be a person who chooses to live in Alaskan wilderness and make a living by hunting or fishing.
Reiss means that we need to consider this in a continuum of motivation – from wanting to be alone all of the time to wanting to socialise for all of one’s waking hours. Each person has an optimal level of happiness for experiencing social contact.
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